It would be really nice to have a sticky with the status of the main DCC packages and the support level for each exporter. This is one of the first things people look at while evaluating an engine, and to be quite honest after browsing the forums for a bit it’s hard to find what versions are supported. For example
Maya: 8, 2008, 2009
3DS: 2008, 2009
Softimage XSI: 6, 7
This would be a huge timesaver for anyone evaluating Panda3D.
All the Best,
Maya: 6.0, 6.5, 7.0, 8.0. 8.5, 2008, 2009
3DSMax: 6, 7, 8, 9, 2008, 2009
(probably more of those – and if not, you can compile panda yourself against one of those)
Blender scripts are version-independent (But, the max and maya exporters are much better than blender)
Softimage XSI: I honestly have no idea. Panda does have support for softimage, but afaik it’s not in the default build (I could put it in, but nobody requested it) and I think it’s pretty old too.
COLLADA (planned for future 1.6.0 release)
Thanks Pro-rsoft (btw do you have a more human name?)
So i take from your words that the Egg file format is pretty stable, there is only API updates to the exporters?! If that is the case that is great, one problem less to handle
I run a small Indie Game Studio it varies in size, but we usually use Softimage for asset creation (i.e: character modeling and animation, level creation), i noticed in the videos of David Rose that there was an issue with the SoftimageEgg exporter. It did a flat export instead of a hierarchical one, so the transforms where all global instead of being hierarchical and local, so there was all sorts of artifacts in the animation. Should we just use the MayaExporter instead (since Maya has strong Disney influence, i assume that it is well supported in Panda3D)? (one of my artist uses Maya mostly the other uses only Softimage)
Animation is very important to our tech demo, so i am going to spend a good amount of time getting under the hood of the animation system and how to work with it.
The system that is in place looks very flexible. In our project we have the need to control the character from keyframe animation to physics based animation and then keyframe again (basically we want characters to collide and do smart things like fall in a smart way, however we only want to affect parts that collide by using physics so that the animations do not look the same every time two character collide, ie if the shoulders collide it’s a diff animation than if two legs collide, etc…). Looking at the Actor/character videos it appears to be possible to blend (manually control joints)… this being Disney I hope allot of attention was taken for the animation
Anyway it would be great if you could post that info a stikie.
Yup, you’ve got everything right.
The .egg format itself is indeed pretty stable and I recommend to use this for to store your game assets in. The Maya converters are indeed the best, since both CMU and Disney actively use it and develop on it.
The animation system is indeed very flexible and allows to control joints yourself, but also has support for Multi-part actors and sub-part actors.
I have no problem against a sticky - though IMHO this sounds more like something that should be put into the manual (which is usually consulted before the forums)
FYI, the SoftImage converter in Panda is based on ancient, pre-XSI SoftImage code. We don’t even use it ourselves within Disney anymore. I can’t recommend it.
Thanks for the update Reinier and David.
We will use MayaEgg as our exporter. We are going to try and use Crosswalk and see if it can export animations from XSI to Maya without big problems.
So our pipeline is looking quite long but i guess that’s one thing we just have to manage right now.
If you really want to use XSI, or in fact any software of your choice that doesn’t have a functional egg export, you can always export as .X and convert it to egg with x2egg (or load it directly). It’s a slight complication to the workflow, but once you figure out what goes where, it’s not a huge burden.
Strange that pro-rsoft didn’t advertise his COLLADA importer/converter here since that will be a pretty good option too…